I saw a commercial not long ago that contained something unintentionally funny as well as being quite revealing. I don’t remember what was being advertised, but they had people giving testimonials while words appeared on the screen that said, Real people, not actors.
I think they spoke more truth than they realized.
I’m not saying that actors aren’t real people, but I am suggesting that many people seem to be unable to make a healthy distinction between people in the acting profession and the roles they play. They’re not in touch with the truth that Matt Damon the person isn’t necessarily anything like Jason Bourne, the character he portrays in three movies. Or, they feel as if they know a certain actor or actress because they can relate to a role they played or something the media churned up about them to publicize their latest movie and help sell magazines and tabloids.
There are some people who buy clothes, cars, or other products because celebrities recommend them. Others go to further extremes and do things to their bodies in an attempt to achieve the look (often surgically or photographically augmented), an actress or actor has. More to the point of this piece, others fashion their political/social/spiritual views after celebrities or imitate the lifestyles they see portrayed by them in movies or real life (and sometimes the line between the two is admittedly blurry). My point in all of this is that we’re mistaken if we think the entertainment industry is simply about entertaining. Whether we listen or not, they are cultural prophets and their message is heard and heeded by many.
I remember a celebrity couple who announced they were “engaged” after years of living together and having several children. We were supposed to be impressed that they refused to get married until it was legal for everyone. Apparently in their minds they could engage in the sexual relationship that God reserved for marriage, have children together, and still expect us to believe they were taking the high ground in regard to their “stand” on marriage.
Please, it should be clear to all that their only use for marriage was to promote their political and social views. If they had any respect for it, they wouldn’t live in mockery of it. The saddest part is that this is not an isolated example just an especially insidious one as adopting children and being publicly doting parents somehow makes non-existent their impenitent promiscuity, infidelities, and promotion of homosexuality. It all makes me think of a house in a historical district where the owners gut the interior, fail to maintain the exterior, but keep the original slate roof in pristine condition and claim they are maintaining the house! I suppose if you ignored everything else and looked only at the roof you would accept their conclusion.
But that wouldn’t mean it was the truth.
It wouldn’t mean it was right.
It wouldn’t mean it was good.